Merkley kicks off town hall schedule in Roseburg

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley will begin his series of town hall meetings in Oregon’s 36 counties by returning Tuesday to Douglas County, the county where he was born.

Merkley will appear from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Douglas County Museum, 123 Museum Drive, next to the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg.

During his campaign in which he unseated two-term Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, Merkley pledged to hold annual question-and-answer sessions in each Oregon county.

He said he planned to follow in the footsteps of Sen. Ron Wyden, who has held annual town hall meetings since he was elected to the Senate in 1996. Wyden will hold his 500th town hall the same day in Fossil.

Merkley, a Democrat who served as speaker of the Oregon House before winning the Senate seat, plans to update residents on his work in Washington, D.C. and to answer questions from the audience.

“Advocating for Oregonians is my No. 1 responsibility,” Merkley said in a news release. “I invite all residents of Douglas County to join me in Roseburg to discuss what we need to do to get our nation back on track.”

Merkley was born in Myrtle Creek and later resided in Roseburg, where he attended school before his family moved to Portland. He still resides there.